Using Comic Devices to Answer the Ultimate Question: Tom Stoppard's Jumpers and Woody Allen's God


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Sex, Death, and God are three one-act plays by Woody Allen on the three subjects that preoccupy him most.1 Sex, death, and God are also important in the work of British dramatist Tom Stoppard, whose plays range from the broad "knickers farce" of Dirty Linen to such pointed statements about the ethics of totalitarianism as Professional Foul and Cahoot's Macbeth. Both Allen and Stoppard instinctively resort to comedy in handling philosophical concerns about human existence. Sex has always been spoofed in the theatre, and death has had its share of humorous treatments, but a jocular approach to questions about the nature of God is less commonplace. Therefore, in comparing Allen's and Stoppard's use of comic devices to make serious points, I shall concentrate on two plays that feature philosophical discussion of the existence of God: Woody Allen's God (1975) and Tom Stoppard's Jumpers (1972).

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.